Through the ups and downs of a college basketball season, the various polls and statistical rankings of a team provide a nice counterbalance to the euphoria or despair the fanbase may be experiencing in a given moment. This new weekly column will take a look at how the Hoosiers stand in each ranking and how it’s changed over the previous seven days.
I’ll be focusing most on Kenpom, Bart Torvik, NET rankings, and the AP poll, but if you have another site you want me to cover, sound off in the comments and I can give it a look. That said, let’s take a look at where Indiana stands today, Monday, January 23.
Indiana shot up the Kenpom rankings this week, going from 28 before the Illinois game to 20 after the consecutive wins in Champaign and against Michigan State. The Hoosiers offensive efficiency currently sits at 20th nationally, a category where Indiana’s fallen outside of the top 20 every year since Tom Crean’s final Big Ten Championship in 2016.
After some truly ugly defense during the three game losing streak, Mike Woodson has Indiana back in a respectable position with the 43rd most efficient defense in the country. This is in large part due to Trayce Jackson-Davis’s work as a rim protector this season, since Indiana has the ninth best block percentage nationally and second best in the Big Ten.
Kenpom favors Indiana in each game this week, giving the Hoosiers an 82% chance of victory against the Gophers and a 61% chance of victory hosting Ohio State on Saturday. On the season, the model predicts Indiana to finish at 20-11 with an 11-9 conference record.
Indiana also had a nice jump in the NET rankings this week, going from the mid 30’s up to 19th. The win over Michigan State alone boosted the Hoosiers up four spots from 23rd.
Only Purdue, at 19-1, comes before Indiana within the Big Ten. Unfortunately for Indiana, that’s robbed them of the opportunity for more Quadrant One wins throughout conference play. Yesterday’s win over Michigan State, for example, was a Quadrant Two win according to the NET rankings.
As things stand today, Indiana will have a chance to notch another Quadrant One win when the Buckeyes come to town, but winning in the Twin Cities would only be a Quadrant Three win.
Of all rankings systems, Torvik’s is the hardest on the Hoosiers, placing them at 31st nationally. This carries over to the season projections as well, with Indiana predicted to go 19-12 overall and finish 10-10 in conference.
Despite the ugly record projection, Indiana is still given a 92.1% chance of making the tournament, and projected to fall comfortably in the 5-6 seed range. The 7.3% chance Torvik gives for winning the conference no longer reflects the lofty hopes entering the season, but that could change if Indiana continues to play well.
Looking at Torvik’s Individual game scores, the Hoosiers are trending up in a big way. The win against Illinois was the best game of the season for Torvik and last week’s win against the Badgers stands as the second best so far. So long as Mike Woodson can avoid performances like the loss at Penn State, Indiana should continue to rise in Torvik’s rankings.
The AP Poll
Indiana was the second team receiving votes outside of the top 25 in today’s newly released AP Poll. Indiana was not receiving any votes last week, but both Illinois and Michigan State were, even ahead of MSU’s upset against Rutgers.
Purdue is the only Big Ten team ranked in this weeks poll, so it’s not a lock that Indiana will crack the top 25 even with a perfect 2-0 week. Odds are that some teams currently ranked will drop out, but Indiana will need to count on a few ranked losses elsewhere if it hopes to be ranked by next week.